Greater Toms River Chamber Announces 2024 Scholarship Winners and Donors

Posted on June 17, 2024 By

The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce (GTRCC) held its Scholarship Cocktail Reception recently at the Bacchus Winemaking Club, Toms River, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. to announce its 2024 scholarship recipients and recognize Toms River High School South Business Academy students who had received scholarships earlier. The Four Seasons Diner, Toms River, catered the dinner.

The donors and scholarships presented are Andrew Borden Memorial Scholarship awarded to Makayla Legaspi, Toms River HS South; Community Medical Center Scholarship to Morgan Rodemann, Toms River HS North; Marilyn D. Brilliant Memorial Scholarship to Brialis Phan, Toms River HS North; Frost Science Scholarship to David Njoo, Toms River HS North; Marie E. Wolff Memorial Scholarship to Andrew Cagliostro, MATES; Narcissus Florals, Floral Partner, Scholarship to Sophia Harmer, Toms River HS North; Denise Hughes Scholarship for the Arts & Science Scholarship to Kayla Matthews, Central Regional HS; Farro’s Tees Scholarship to Josh Rhine, Toms River HS South; McGeehan Realty Group Scholarship – Matthew Goldman, Manchester Township High School; George P. Vanderveer American Legion Post 129 Scholarship to Amanda Brown, Donovan Catholic High School; Ocean County Artists Guild Scholarship to R. Joseph Latshaw III; GTRCC Foundation Scholarship to Amanda Barr, Toms River HS East; and the GTRCC Foundation Lucy Green Scholarship was awarded to Isabella Chiaravallo, Donovan Catholic High School.

Toms River High School South Business Academy students were also celebrated for winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the TRSBA Tribal Council. Scholarships were awarded by M&T Bank to Alyssa Schenk and Eloise Weintraub for First Place; Press Communications to Jarrod Johnson for Second Place; and Farro’s Tees to Faith Jenkins & Emma Stich for Third Place.

The Chamber’s Annual Presenting Partners included Creative Click Media and Kean Ocean University.

Philip Brilliant, chairman of the GTRCC Foundation, said, “At the core of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s mission, is its unwavering dedication to fostering education. Our foundation serves as a beacon of hope for students in our community, offering them the opportunity to pursue their academic dreams.

“Every scholarship awarded by the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a life-changing opportunity. It’s not just about financial support; it’s about transforming lives, nurturing talents, and encouraging ambition. Our scholarships pave the way for students to achieve their academic goals and embark on successful careers.”

Greater Toms River Chamber is located at 1415 Hooper Avenue, Suite 305-G. For more information visit or Also call 732-349-0220 ext. 3.


Disability Etiquette in the Workplace – Join HR Professionals for a Virtual Meeting June 27

Posted on June 11, 2024 By

JSAHR (Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources) professionals, open to the public, will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 27 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. about disability etiquette for recruiters, managers, and co-workers through stories, real life examples, and audience participation to illustrate the value of disability etiquette in a company culture.

The speaker Kate Kennedy PHR, SHRM-CP, MSM, MSHRM, has more than 10 years of experience in HR. The majority of her career has been in non-profit and social service agencies that served individuals with disabilities. Over the last 30 years, she has spoken on similar topics about individuals with disabilities at the GSC SHRM State Conference, SHRM chapters, and The South Eastern Theatre Conference

Kennedy is currently the President Elect of CNJ SHRM, Workforce Readiness Co-Chairwoman for the Garden State Council, and a volunteer for the GSC SHRM State Conference. She is also co-creator and facilitator for the Global Play Brigade’s “How to Find Your Superpower” workshop.

The fee for members is $10.00 and $15.00 for non-members. Register at: or or call JSAHR at 732-701-7155 to receive a link to the program.

JSAHR is a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) affiliated chapter. This program is pending one (1) SHRM PDC and one (1) HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) recertification credit.


Lakewood Youths Are Invited to Attend the Lakewood Police Youth Academy in Its 19th Year

Posted on June 5, 2024 By

Lakewood Police Department School Resource Officers have organized a free 2024 Youth Police Academy for Lakewood youths in grades 6, 7, and 8, from August 7 through August 16, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily at the Piner Elementary School, 1141 E. County Line Road, Lakewood. Recruits will receive lunch each day.

This immersive program, designed to engage students in an educational and interactive exploration of law enforcement and public safety, fosters positive community relations and shapes the future leaders of tomorrow.

Academy participants will experience a wide variety of activities, including demonstrations from the Lakewood Emergency Medical Services Department; the Lakewood Fire Department; and specialized units, such as the Lakewood Police SRT (Special Response Team), K9, and Water Rescue.

One of the highlights of this year’s academy will be its emphasis on hands-on learning. Recruits will also gain valuable insights into the roles and responsibilities of professionals from various public safety agencies. Scheduled trips this year include a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Tour at the Atlantic City International Airport, a visit to the Academy of Law & Public Safety (ALPS), and an exclusive tour of the Lakewood Police Department.

Parents of accepted recruits are required to attend a mandatory meeting on Tuesday, August 6 at 7:00 PM. in the Lakewood Township Municipal Courtroom, 231 Third Street. This meeting will provide essential information about the program and ensure that parents and guardians are well-informed about their child’s participation.

Registration for the 2024 Lakewood Police Youth Academy must be completed by June 30th. To register, visit the Lakewood Police Department website at For inquiries and additional information, contact the Lakewood Police School Resource Officers at or call 732-363-0200, ext. 8293.

Lakewood Police School Resource Officers said, “We look forward to developing relationships between Lakewood Police Officers and the youth of our town through this exciting Academy.”


The Bridge over Lake Carasaljo, Lakewood

Posted on May 29, 2024 By

For years, Lakewood residents have been asking for a bridge that goes over Lake Carasaljo. Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles said that in rebuilding other structures around the Lake, the township decided to actually build the bridge, constructing it of a plastic that is used for floating docks to minimize any upkeep. The bridge is about 800 to 850 feet long and was constructed by EZ Docks.

Mayor Coles said, “The site for the bridge is at a place where we don’t want boats going because it is muddy and full of weeds. In the past, boats that went into that area often got stuck. The police who went there to rescue those boaters, often got stuck too!!”

The construction did not take long — just a few months. The cost of construction and materials was about one million dollars, which was paid for with block grants that also included the police and recreation docks, and the resident recreation dock. No taxpayer money was used.

Patrick Donnelly, the municipal manage of Lakewood, said, “The bridge is heavily used, which is a positive. Currently there is a safety fence to prevent children from falling off the bridge. In addition, decorated panels are being installed over the fencing as an extra measure of safety.”

Since the bridge is mainly for walking, no scooters and e-bikes are allowed especially for the safety of pedestrians. Although no tables are on the bridge, benches to sit or fish from are available. People are advised to wear hats because no covers exist to shield walkers from the sun.

Mayor Coles said, “We are always looking to increase the recreational activities for our residents. With the construction of the bridge, more people have access to the lake and more people can enjoy the water.”

Photos by Jason Ochs, Lakewood DPW


Supporting Mental Wellness in the Workplace – Join HR Professionals June 13

Posted on May 20, 2024 By

What are the signs and symptoms of mental health and/or substance disorders in the workplace? Increase awareness of helpful resources and information about protective factors at the breakfast meeting of JSAHR (Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources), open to the public, on Thursday, June 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Jumping Brook Country Club, 210 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune.

Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m., followed by announcements at 8:30 and the speaker at 9:00 a.m. The Career Transformation Group begins at 10:00 a.m.

Nicole Tierney, J.D., M.S., a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Licensed Clinical Drug and Alcohol Counselor, will explain the frequency of mental health and/or substance abuse disorders; the signs and symptoms; the resources that provide treatment and support for those experiencing these disorders; and the ways to improve mental wellness in the workplace.

Registration including breakfast is $35 for JSAHR members; $50 for non-members; $25 for each guest and those in-transition; and $10 for students with a valid ID. Registrations are online at: or or call JSAHR at 732-701-7155. The sponsor of this meeting is Manasquan Bank.

JSAHR is a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) affiliated chapter. This program is pending one (1) SHRM PDC and one (1) HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) recertification credit.

About Nicole “Nikki” Tierney: Nicole “Nikki” Tierney received her Juris Doctor with honors from Rutgers School of Law, Newark, in 1997. She practiced law for nearly 10 years until her opioid use disorder had become so severe, she surrendered her license to practice. In 2007, after trying for years to remain abstinent from opioid and other drugs, Tierney felt helpless and attempted to end her life. Unknowingly, that began the start of her journey to health and wellness.

Since that dark day in 2007, Tierney has finally received evidence-based treatment for her previously undiagnosed mental health disorders (major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder) and has focused on living her best life and moving forward from her past negative experiences. Towards that end, she returned to Monmouth University graduate school where she obtained her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Addiction Studies. She graduated w a 4.0 GPA and received the 2021 Advocacy Award from the Department of Professional Counseling. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Tierney and her children founded a small nonprofit charity in honor of her parents, Hope is NEVER Lost and has a private practice Hope-Fullness Counseling, Prevention, and Education. She is also a policy analyst for the National Center for Advocacy and Recovery. Tierney has made it her mission to decrease stigma and barriers to treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.


Lakewood Police Department Receives Award

Posted on May 20, 2024 By

Attorney General Matthew Platkin recently presented the Lakewood Police Department with the “Outstanding Community Partnership” award in recognition of the Lakewood Police Department’s exceptional efforts on behalf of the Lakewood Community Coalition. The Attorney General’s Excellence in Policing Awards are held to commemorate National Police Week.

The Lakewood Community Coalition is made up of members of the Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutors Office, Lakewood Faith Leaders, community organizations, and community leaders. Its mission revolves around building bridges and fostering trust between law enforcement and faith leaders, community organizations, and community leaders. Through enhanced communication and collaboration, the Lakewood Community Coalition aims to understand better and address issues within religious communities and the surrounding neighborhoods. This proactive approach strengthens relationships and facilitates problem-solving and community well-being by working together to solve issues and help people in need.

The commendation specifically acknowledges the contributions of several Lakewood Police Department members, including Chief Gregory H. Meyer, Captain Steve Allaire, D/Sgt. Jeannette Shimonovich, Sgt. Kenneth Burdge, Sgt. Peter LaRosa, Sgt. Stephanie Mahone, Ptl. Jason Yahr, Ptl. Kevin Bell, Ptl. Jeffrey Emmons, and Ptl. Joseph Soriano, SRO Michael Delvalle, and SRO Daniel Merrill. Also recognized were Cori Scotti from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish of Lakewood; Shrage Pinter, the Dean of a Jewish religious school; and Coalition faith leaders, community leaders, and organizations.

Lakewood Community Coalition Co-Chairmen Capt. Steve Allaire and Cori Scotti thank the entire coalition for all their hard work and commitment to making this initiative a success. They said, “We extend our sincere gratitude to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and his team for their invaluable support. We also appreciate the generous contribution of The Strand Theater, providing us with their stunning and historically significant venue for our events. Additionally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Andrei Jackamets Photography for capturing the memorable moments during our Lakewood Community Coalition meetings.”

Photo #1: Ptl. Jeffrey Emmons; Ptl. Jason Yahr; Sgt. Kenneth Burdge; Co-Chairman Captain Steve Allaire; Co-Chairman Cori Scotti, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish of Lakewood; D/Sgt. Jeannette Shimonovich; Ptl. Kevin Bell; Ptl. Joseph Soriano

Photo #2 (Coalition, May 9,2024) Collaborative photo – OCPO, & Lakewood Community Coalition with Attorney General (AG) Matthew Platkin who is in the middle, NJ State Chief L.E.; left of the AG is Captain Steve Allaire, Co-Chairman; right of the AG is the Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer; left side of Capt. Allaire is the Lakewood Community Coalition; right side of the Prosecutor is the OCPO staff members

Photo #3: left to right/ front Row – Ptl. Jeffrey Emmons; SRO (School Resource Officer) Michael Delvalle; Co-Chairman Captain Steve Allaire; Co-Chairman Cori Scotti, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish of Lakewood; D/Sgt. Jeannette Shimonovich; Attorney General (AG) Matthew Platkin , NJ State Chief Law Enforcement; Sgt. Stephanie Mahone; Ptl. Jason Yahr; Ptl. Kevin Bell; Shrage Pinter, Dean of a Jewish religious school. Second Row – SRO Daniel Merrill; Sgt. Kenneth Burdge; and Sgt. Peter LaRosa

Photo #4: Attorney General (AG) Matthew Platkin NJ State Chief Law Enforcement Officer


General Membership Breakfast, May 23

Posted on May 16, 2024 By

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and RWJ Barnabas Health at Monmouth Medical Center Souther Campus is inviting the public to a complimentary General Membership Breakfast at the patio of Monmouth Medical Center Souther Campus, 600 River Avenue, Lakewood, on May 23 at 8:30 a.m.

The guest speaker is Ram Hegde, a Dunkin Franchisee; and the members the Lakewood Industrial Commission will be recognized.

To register and learn more about this program visit or call 732-363-0012.
Kosher food is available.


Join the Jersey Shore Chamber for Its Summer Kickoff May 24

Posted on May 16, 2024 By

The Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce (JSCC), Wall Township, is hosting its annual Summer Kickoff event May 24. The Trolley Tour is sold out; however, with a general admission ticket of $40.00, participants can enjoy lite fare, entertainment, ribbon cutting with photos in the Coast Star and Ocean Star newspapers, and networking at three locations: Klein’s Fish Market, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; River Rock Restaurant and Marina Bar, 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.; and Beach Haus Brewery, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Several sponsorship opportunities are still available for $250.00 each. A sponsor has an opportunity to speak during the 1.5 hour visit, can pass out literature and promotional items, raffle off an item, and receive social medial posts prior and during this event. One sponsorship is available at Klein’s in Belmar, and two at the Beach Haus Brewery.

The Summer Kickoff sponsor is Jen Ortiz, agent of State Farm ( or 732-612-8308).

This event is open to the public. Register at or call 732-280-8800.


The MODC Is Presenting The State of the Jersey Shore, May 30

Posted on May 14, 2024 By

Learn about The State of the Jersey Shore, sponsored by the MODC (Monmouth Ocean Development Council), Wall Township, N.J. The Economic Development Committee of MODC led by Chairman Ian Singer, Director of Marketing, Davison-Eastman, Muñoz, Paone, P.A.; and Co-Chairman, Brian Waldron, Partner, Director of Quality Control for HFA, organized a panel of business leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and community stakeholders who will discuss economic change and explore the Jersey Shore’s economic landscape on Thursday, May 30 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Jumping Brook Country Club, 2109 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune, N.J.

The panel is made up of Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of N.J. Business & Industry Association; Steve Reinman, director of Economic & Industrial Development for Lakewood Township; Dana Lancellotti, president and CEO of NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association; Sandra Lazzaro, director of Business Development & Tourism for Ocean County; Sarah Giberson, director of Real Estate & Marketing for Fort Monmouth; Paul Tattory, Department of Labor; Thomas Arnone, commissioner director for Monmouth County; and Commissioner Frank Sadeghi, Ocean County.

Jodi Hope Grinwald, CEO of MODC, said, “The State of the Shore event will offer an opportunity for business professionals to engage with leaders who are actively involved in the day-to-day efforts to bolster our community’s economic vitality.”

Tickets cost $50 for members of MODC and $60 for nonmembers. The Event Sponsor is the law firm of Davison, Eastman, Muñuz, Paone P.A. New Jersey Natural Gas is the Professional Development Sponsor. For more details and registration, visit


Lithium-Ion Battery Safety

Posted on May 14, 2024 By

Lithium-ion batteries supply power to various devices, including smart phones, laptops, e-scooters and e-bikes, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys, and even cars. If not used correctly or if they are damaged, these batteries can catch on fire or explode. Because of all the recent fires, the Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners and Fire Chief Jonathan Yahr present the following Lithium-ion battery safety tips.

Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory (UL). Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Only use the battery that is designed for the device and put the batteries in the device the right way. Only use the charging cord that came with the device. Do not keep charging the device or the device battery after it is fully charged. Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch. Keep batteries at room temperature when possible. Do NOT charge them at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 C) or above 105F (40 C). Be sure to store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.

Signs of a problem include odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, or odd noises. If safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 9-1-1.

If you need to dispose of lithium-ion batteries, recycling is always best. Take batteries to a recycling location or contact your community for disposal instruction. NEVER put lithium-ion batteries in the trash.

Special instructions for charging an e-bike: Charge the battery in a flat, dry area away from children, direct sunlight, liquids, tripping hazards, and in a location where the e-bike is not at risk of falling.

For more information, contact Sima Clapman, Fire Prevention Specialist, at 732-364-5151 or visit